I arrived home with two commissioned paintings to complete, contract work to do, immunizations to get, and other loose ends to tie up. My husband and I were headed to Belize on June 28! The plan is that we will be here for several months, but we will see how it goes and how our cash flow looks.
There was a lot to think about to prepare. First things first, I knocked out the two paintings that I'd been hired to produce. Without a real idea of how difficult or expensive it would be to ship artwork from Belize, I wanted to make sure those were finished. Two happy customers in check (see right for the one I did for my friend Kate, along with the photo that inspired it), I then got as much contract work done as I could before we had to really pack up shop. The little left that we own went into storage, and we had to time that just right so that we wouldn't be "homeless" for too long.
Travel arrangements required some logistical wrangling. We booked one-way tickets to Belize, but there was a chance we'd be denied entry because we had no return ticket. So, we purchased refundable one-way tickets home that we would cancel after we arrived. The bus schedule didn't sync well with our arrival time, so I found a reasonable shuttle to our first stop. And, of course, I booked the first week's accommodations... except the host cancelled them a week before we departed, so I had to find another place to stay. Such is life on the road, and even more so in Belize, I think. You have to roll with the punches.
Another dilemma was that I had to determine where to get a typhoid vaccination. My doctor tried to send me to a travel clinic, but even a month ahead of time, they were all booked up. I luckily discovered that Walgreens provides travel vaccinations, and was able to get it and my Hepatitis vaccination taken care of quite efficiently in one day without leaving New Albany.
There was also the quandary of what to bring. We won't have a car in Belize due to the very high cost of renting (think $80 or so a day) and the insane gas prices ($5-6 a gallon). We are essentially "backpackers" and need to be able to carry everything. Toiletries and medications were the source of many difficult decisions, as they are heavy to carry but also more difficult to find and expensive in Belize.
My final clothing inventory was:
- 1 long sleeve button down
- 1 sleeveless button down
- 4 pairs of underwear
- 3 pairs of socks
- 3 sports bras
- A swimsuit
- 1 pair shorts
- 1 skort
- 2 tank tops
- 1 short sleeved t-shirt
- 1 pair flip flops
- 1 pair hiking shoes
- 1 pair Chacos sandals
Just like I knew it would, time flew right by. I was sad to leave home without being able to get together with most of my friends, but hopefully I'll be packed with great stories to share upon my return. With only the first week's locale known, Aaron and I boarded an airplane out of Indianapolis bright and early June 28 to visit a Central American country we'd had never seen before.